Archive for September, 2017

🍂 Autumn Is Finally Here!

Friday, September 29th, 2017

The beauty of autumn is all around us! The air is bright and crisp today! The temperatures are lower as well as the humidity. In fact, the way I see it is all we need for autumnal perfection is the leaves changing color and falling from the trees…and that will be happening soon enough! (Upstate, it is happening already!)

In most schools the children and young adults are adjusted to their daily classes. Teachers 👨‍🏫 are doing their best to be creative, challenging and motivating in their approach (the way I tried to be when I taught at a junior high school-turned middle school on Long Island.). Unfortunately, in some schools, there are already violent assaults, bullying and worse, but, fortunately, they are few.

In the fall, there is thst welcome sense of balance. It is neither too hot nor too cold. The humidity is just about right, and it is the perfect time to take a long walk or explore an apple 🍎 orchard while picking the best fruit. Parties on weekends go indoors if there is a chill in the air.

Pumpkins are plentiful and easily accessible. Pumpkin pies, muffins and cakes tempt the eyes and tummy of children of all ages!

People celebrate various holidays in the autumn months. Parents, teachers 👨‍🏫 and children welcome the time off to spend with their families.

Let’s get up on these autumn mornings and enjoy a hearty 🍳 breakfast as we look forward to school and work on most weekdays and fun (and frolicking) on the holidays and weekends! It’s just not right to do anything but enjoy the 🍂 autumn in the best of physical and emotional health!

On the Brink of 🍂 Autumn!

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

I know it seems a bit confusing to welcome autumn with the temperatures in the 80’s and summer still in the air … showing no signs of wanting to leave! On this Sunday and Monday, the temperature may hit almost 90 degrees! But it will still be the start of autumn 🍂 in the late afternoon today…about 4:15 P.M. And, yes, autumn will remain until December 21st!

Why is it hard to say goodbye to summer? If we look deeply into our souls, we can see that, for most of us, summer is synonymous with fun, vacation time, time away from work, adventure, more quality time with our families, flowers 🌺 of all kinds, rich, healthy plants, hobbies, and all kinds of recreation! So it is understandable that it is not easy to let summer go!

But autumn 🍂 is very pleasant, too! Think about it a moment! Your favorite flowers 🌺 and plants usually live through November if the weather remains relatively warm…as it generally does…!

The trees very slowly lose their leaves, which change into intense shades of burgundy, orange, yellow , brown and tan before they caress the ground. Pumpkins of all sizes are available, and who doesn’t enjoy pumpkin pies, cakes, bread, and even pumpkin-flavored specialty drinks at our favorite cafes?

Once autumn is truly underway, the temperatures are more comfortable than in the summertime. We are ready to go 🍎-picking and enjoy walking through the amazing orchards. It is a great time to visit the Botanical Gardens and the local zoos or those, where we can feed and pet the domesticated animals.

There are a variety of activities for children and adults. Most of us look forward to Octoberfest, which various communities celebrate and go all-out to show us a fun time.

For many people, there are various holidays that they celebrate with their ❤️ loved ones! Sitting near the fireplace on chilly nights is comforting, especially with your significant other or spouse right there by your side! As the weather gets cooler, and there is more night than day, there are moments that are very cozy and comforting. Some even long for the snow when it first appears…sometimes as early as December…and covers the ground with a blanket of pure, white beauty.

Yes, it is normal to take some time to, in a sense, mourn the end of summer, but we invariably accept the fact that change is often good. The transition of the seasons brings us fresh experiences, new friends and unexpected opportunities!

So embrace the autumn! Welcome her arrival and enjoy her with every new experience each and every day!

Hurricanes! Hurricanes…and More Hurricanes! Why…Oh, Why!

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Yes, this is the middle of hurricane season! It lasts until the end of November, unfortunately! Still, I can’t help hoping that Hurricane Maria is the last for 2017!

As long as I can remember, hurricanes have been a part of my life! After all, my grandparents and Uncle owned a summer rooming house in Rockaway Beach, New York on 66th Street, a block away from the beach. At the end of summer, right around Labor Day, the threat of hurricane activity would be in the air!

But hurricanes in the 1950’s, as I remember, were not nearly as violent and destructive as they are today. I don’t remember any hurricanes as powerful and downright cruel as Harvey, Irma and Maria. I have no memories at all of roofs caving in, houses obliterated, much less the loss of hundreds of lives. But I was young then, making it possible that I had a selective memory, a condition of which most children are guilty. Yet, I still feel strongly that hurricanes then were nothing like hurricanes now!

But I do remember one summer’s day before a hurricane was predicted. Dad, who loved the water almost as much as the fish do, decided to take my sister and me with him for an early morning swim. The waves were not turbulent. In fact, the water seemed calm…and the hurricane wasn’t predicted until the next day.

So I ran towards the water with my sister and dad right beside me! I did my usual attempt to ride the waves and, at first everything went extremely well. I floated and swam. But I didn’t know much about the existence of rip tides at that stage of my life…not until I landed in one that morning.

The depth of the ocean floor seemed to go from a level at which I could even stand to several feet taller than I. I wasn’t a strong enough swimmer to know what to do! I panicked and prayed until, Thank God, I managed to move towards shore. I still attribute my salvation to divine intervention, although many would disagree with that conclusion, I am certain!

But hurricanes today are destructive forces to be viewed with a healthy fear! We pray for all those seriously impacted with any of these hurricanes and pray for their continued faith, inner strength and positivity in order to deal with all the challenges now and ahead. After all, five years later, many victims of Hurricane Sandy are still suffering from the effects of that hurricane!

Since I was a child, the number of hurricanes I have seen or heard about have exhausted the 26 letters of the alphabet many times over. But they do seem to be getting worse and worse! Does that imply that the end of this challenging system of things is near, along with the beginning of God’s Kingdom! The Bible supports this theory, and it certainly has convinced me! What about you? Time will tell, as it always does, but for now, let’s hope that the hurricane season of 2017 ends early!

Autumn is Coming!

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

First, I would like to say that I have been shocked at the severity of first, Hurricane Harvey, and then its even more horrific sister storm, Hurricane Irma! So much flooding, devastation in the Islands, Cuba, and Florida! It is unimaginable that two hurricanes could cause so much destruction!

Our prayers are with all those who are dealing with the aftermath of this brutal, horrific weather and also with the families of those who have died as a result of these monster hurricanes!

Hurricane season lasts through November, unfortunately! Let us pray that there are no more monstrous storms like Harvey and Irma! People have suffered enough this season by the merciless hands of the dark side of nature!

Let’s move onto a subject that is much lighter but is still connected with weather! Autumn is coming!

In ten days it will be officially autumn! I know it is hard to say farewell to summer in just over a week, but Autumn is such a rich, vibrant season, and for many of us, the slightly cooler temperatures will mean more lively walks, lots of 🍎 apple picking, finally sitting outside comfortably and enjoying the rich, beautiful colors and even the flowers that bloom just at this time (Montauk daisies,among them)!

Moving forward and enjoying it! Come along and enjoy it, too!

Advice From A Retired Teacher

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

I wrote this blog post three years ago when my oldest grandchild, Alexis, entered high school, but now I dedicate it to every young person entering his/her freshman year next week! It was entitled”An Open Letter to All the Young People Who, Like My Granddaughter, Alexis, Are Entering High School Today…”

“Yes, you are a high school freshman now. The day has finally arrived. You are excited, nervous, joyful, frightened and confident, seemingly all at the same time. What will happen when the doors open, and you walk inside?

“It seens overwhelming to begin a new phase of your life, but it is also wonderfully thrilling. What will the future hold!

“Life is change. Without change, life becomes stagnant and dull. If we don’t go forward, we invariable go backward. So welcome the future and try new things. Work hard at your classes, but also take advantage of elective classes and extra-curricular activities that are offered after school. Make new friends and enjoy their companionship. Look forward each day to the special moments that await you, moments that are unique and will not be repeated.

“Embrace each new opportunity, and allow faith and hope to erase fear. Remember most of all how much you are loved and appreciated by God, your parents, the rest of your family and your friends!”